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Written Answers - Third Level Courses

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 217.  Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will report on the implementation of the strategy on internationalisation of Irish education; if he is satisfied that sufficient progress is being made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23833/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn The Government is strongly committed to promoting Ireland as a centre for international education. The Programme for Government sets out an ambitious target of doubling international student numbers over the coming five years, through full implementation of the international education strategy, Investing in Global Relationships. International education is also identified in the Action Plan for Jobs as a crucial sector for growth.

Significant progress is being made in implementing the strategy. Some key recent developments include:

The new international brand and marketing campaign for Irish education, Education in Ireland, is being managed by Enterprise Ireland and has been rolled out in a number of key markets, including the USA, China and Russia.

Enterprise Ireland is undertaking a range of other initiatives, including social media marketing and a pilot Student Ambassador programme to promote Ireland to international students.

I will shortly be formally launching a new international scholarship scheme targeting high-performing students in our key markets with a view to significantly raising Ireland’s profile.

The High Level Group on International Education, which is chaired by my Department, has agreed a set of priority markets, and market-specific plans are being developed on a rolling basis. Inter-governmental relationships are also being strengthened with these partner countries, through the signing of memorandums of understanding and exchange of high level visits.

Education missions form a crucial part of our overseas outreach. The most recent mission was led by Minister of State Ciaran Cannon to China, and further missions are planned for later this year.

My Department is also supporting the hosting of the Annual Conference of the European Association for International Education in Dublin later this year. Over 4,500 leading professionals in international higher education from more than 85 countries will participate in this conference, which will provide a unique platform to promote awareness of Ireland among sectoral professionals.

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